Nicholas Edward Franklin
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 160 lb.
- High School Lake Brantley High School
- Debut May 27, 2013
Franklin hit .367/.424/.533 with 7 runs in 8 games in the 2008 World Junior Championship to help the US win a Silver Medal. As a high school senior in Florida, he batted .538 with 11 home runs. The Seattle Mariners took him 27th overall in the 2009 amateur draft; the pick was compensation for the loss to free agency of Raúl Ibáñez. He was signed by scout Chuck Carlson and made his pro debut that summer with the AZL Mariners. After hitting .302 in 10 games for the club, he was promoted to the Everett AquaSox and posted a .400 batting average in 6 games.
Franklin spent most of 2010 with the Clinton LumberKings. With the LumberKings, he hit .281, led the Midwest League with 23 home runs, and was an All-Star. He began the next season with the High Desert Mavericks and was promoted to the Jackson Generals in June. He was back with Jackson to start 2012, and after hitting .322 in 57 games, he advanced to the AAA Tacoma Rainiers, for whom he hit .243 with 7 homers in 64 games. After starting 2013 with Tacoma, he was called up to the majors by the Mariners in late May. He made his big league debut on May 27th against the San Diego Padres, entering the game in the 8th inning and walking in his only plate appearance. He then stayed with the Mariners for the remainder of the season, hitting .225 in 102 games while starting at 2B next to another promising youngster, SS Brad Miller.
The Mariners made a splash on the free agent market before the 2014 season, signing 2B Robinson Cano to a lucrative long-term deal. That meant there was only one spot available in the middle infield, and Miller won the battle for it in spring training. Nick headed back to the minors, where he hit .294 in 75 games for Tacoma. He was up briefly in Seattle, but hit only .128 in 17 games. Meanwhile, another young infielder was ready for the majors, Chris Taylor, and when he chose in a July call-up that he was ready to help at the big league level, Nick became a trading chip. On July 31st, the Mariners dealt him to the Detroit Tigers in return for CF Austin Jackson. While the Tigers were not particularly strong at shortstop, they had not acquired him for their own needs, but in order to land a bigger prize, and shortly thereafter he was sent to the Tampa Bay Rays alongside P Drew Smyly and Class A SS Willie Adames as the Tigers obtained P David Price in return. He hit .206 in 11 games for the Rays.
In 2015, Nick played 44 games for Tampa Bay but hit only .148. He spent the rest of the year with the AAA Durham Bulls, where he hit .266 with 11 homers and 30 RBIs in 57 games. His performance improved significantly in 2016, as he hit .270 in 60 games for Tampa, with 6 homers and 26 RBIs. With Durham, however, he fell to .254 in 64 games. He was used as a utility player in Tampa, seeing time at first and second base, shortstop, and left and right field. He seemed poised to make the team's opening day roster in 2017, but he was placed on waivers just before the start of the season. On April 5th, he was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers.